September 10, 2012

Humanity Enabled HB Studio To Increase Productivity In The Most Bustling City In America


Founded in 1945, the HB Studio is a place where actors can come together to practice and strengthen their individual acting skills in between acting jobs. With an extremely wide array of course offerings, the HB Studio is a fixture in New York’s cultural realm that continues to thrive and evolve.

Initially established by renowned Viennese actor Herbert Berghof, the HB Studio was created to provide professional theater training and practice for aspiring and accomplished actors of all age. His idea to enrich the skills of actors was longtime sought after dream. In 1948 legendary actress Uta Hagen joined him in his dream.

As the HB Studio became more popular over time, it transitioned from a highly informally structured group to a more structured and organized studio. Initially, many of the office functions were handled by teachers or students, mostly on a voluntary basis. As the studio grew and after the passing of Mr. Berghof that studio transitioned into a nonprofit organization geared towards supporting non-working actors.

In addition to the 30 HB Studio employees (some of which are considered “seasonal”), there are many teachers who are independent contractors. Keeping track of scheduling, payroll, vacation requests, vacation accrual, and workable hours become incredibly frustrating, particularly when juggling seasonal employees and the schedules of independent contractors. Juggling schedules with irregular staff availability and the desire to keep schedules fair can be a cumbersome task.

Before the HB Studio switched to Humanity, all scheduling was done with pen and paper it was very hard to collaborate with fellow staff members to secure a recurring staff schedule. Communicating and calculating staff availability, assigning shifts, sharing schedules and timesheet tracking was time-consuming and confusing. Using Word and Excel to keep track of employee data made it almost impossible to keep every employee in the loop.

Since joining Humanity and using our proprietary scheduling software, HB Studios has been able to not only increase their efficiency and productivity, but also dramatically improve their managerial oversight. Humanity has allowed more versatile staff management including the ability to track clocked hours. With the ability to automatically generate timesheets and submit them to payroll it has made office management much easier.

“We found Humanity to be the best solution because so many other systems didn’t actually provide BOTH scheduling AND time sheet tracking. The system has already greatly improved our tracking.” – James Mallinson – HB Studio